3 parents arrested in two separate severe infant abuse deaths

BROOKSVILLE, Fla. - Three parents were arrested in two separate incidents involving the deaths of their severely abused infants, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office said.

Jesse James Abney, 21, and Justine Lynn Vansant, 19, were charged Thursday in the death of one-month-old Carson Abney.

Carson was not breathing or conscious when deputies arrived at the couple's Treehaven Drive home in Spring Hill in June.

"Upon arrival, deputies noted the infant had bruising along the right side of his face, by his eye, and both eyes had blood in the sclera (the white portion of the eye)," the department said.

Carson was transported to Bayfront Health Spring Hill, where he died five days later.

The infant sustained blunt force head trauma and several rib fractures, deputies said.

Carson's parents told detectives they put him in a crib after going out to eat, and after taking a shower, attempted to feed him when they found him limp and not breathing.

Vansant's uncle, Joe Moore, also lives in the home. He told detectives Jesse Abney exited the shower first and made a bottle for Carson before going into the bedroom. Moments later, Vansant discovered the infant not breathing, the department said.

"A search of the bedroom revealed a green leafy substance on the nightstand and sprinkled all over Vansant and Abney's bed," the department said. "In a drawer of the nightstand, deputies located several pills, empty baggies, a glass pipe, and rolling papers. The leafy substance tested positive for the presence of THC."

Jesse Abney, charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child, received a $30,000 bond. Vansant, charged with child neglect, received a $5,000 bond.

'He hit his head hard on the door jamb'

Miles Luke Anchondo Sr. contacted emergency dispatchers on July 19, stating his two-month-old son, Miles Jr., wasn't breathing.

"Initial assessments and CT scans revealed a low white blood count, skull fractures on both sides of the infant's head, and a brain bleed," deputies said. "Physicians stated the infant also appeared to have a healing rib fracture."

The infant died two days later.

Anchondo told detectives he placed the infant in a stroller next to the bed and fell asleep, then awakened to find him limp. He then placed his son in the bathtub and turned the water on.

Detectives noticed a number of discrepancies in his story, and was further questioned at the sheriff's office.

"Once at the HCSO, Anchondo told detectives he was carrying the infant and 'he hit his head hard on the door jamb' and that after he hit his head, the infant fell asleep easily," the department said. "Anchondo advised he knew the child needed medical attention but was going to wait for his girlfriend to get home. During this interview Anchondo also advised that a few weeks ago he was pushing the infant in the stroller 'back and forth hard and fast' which caused the child to lunge forward and hit his head on the rails of the stroller. Lastly, Anchondo told detectives that he dropped the infant on his head, on the tile floor."

Miles Jr. suffered a left parietal skull fracture, brain and spinal cord injuries, retinal and optic nerve sheath hemorrhages, healing fractures of three ribs and pulmonary congestion, edema and focal acute pneumonia, the department said.

“It was concluded that the incident described by the father was not consistent with the injuries the infant suffered,” the department said. “The infant suffered ongoing physical abuse which resulted in his death.”

Anchondo was arrested and charged on Wednesday with murder while engaged in certain felony offenses and aggravated child abuse. He received no bond.

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